Understandably, lot's of people asked me what I thought of David Sunding's surprise (to me) presentation at yesterday's BDCP meeting on the employment impacts of building conveyance.
Obviously, I thought he was overly conservative. He should also count the $250 million the water contractors will have spent on consultants and planning. I pumped this spending through the IMPLAN model today, and it calculated the creation of 3,550 mostly high-paying jobs in California. (I should say job-years, since the new way of reporting results in these booster studies is to report a single job that lasts 5 years as 5 jobs. High-speed rail is especially bad about this.) And that isn't even counting all the millions spent on lawsuits that will be on the way creating even more jobs. Even if BDCP fails to build anything, it has been a consulting jobs bonanza for the Sacramento area. More plans, more lawsuits, more jobs!
Despite the sarcasm, I don't actually have a problem with the content of this presentation. The "conveyance will create thousands of jobs" study was inevitable, and I would rather see it from him than another source that would blow it out of proportion and not properly point out the limitations and caveats.
I suppose I need to get busy calculating all the jobs created from building levees now...